Just how lousy were today's unemployment numbers? Employers created a meager 54,000 jobs, way under expectations. Alex Goldmark at Good points out that if not for McDonald's one-day hiring binge of 62,000 jobs, the nation would have had a net loss. "That's what makes today's numbers all the more depressing," he writes. "If it weren't for the country's largest restaurant chain going on a burger flipper binge, the reports wouldn't say 'sharp slowdown' they'd say 'reversal' or 'devastating.'"
- Felix Salmon, Reuters: "The only tiny possible chink of light here is that these numbers are so bad that they might persuade bickering politicians on Capitol Hill to stop playing stupid games with the debt ceiling and start concentrating on important matters. Oh, who am I kidding: We’re in election season now." Until 2013 or so, we'll have to rely on the Fed for salvation, and "that's not a comforting thought."
- Rex Nutting, MarketWatch: "A deeper problem for the American economy is psychological. Our animal spirits are depressed, and that has inhibited risk-taking." Look at gold prices for proof. "Who is investing in the real economy? Practically no one."